So, onto the big changes/decisions.
I've re-enrolled at WMU to finish the last six classes for my BA. I was unable to finish it in 2005 because I got laid-off and had to move to take a new job before my last semester. I haven't had the money to go back since then. Now, finally, I can finish. I'm so relieved and happy. This will open up SO many job opportunities; plus, I can apply to grad school (library science). I may wait a year or two for grad school, though, depending how things go in...
Brent and I are 99% sure we're going to move there next summer. We were going to go this summer, but I really, really need to finish school. I didn't want to leave with so few classes left because transferring would put me way behind (I'd lose a ton of credits), and I'd have to pay out-of-state tuition, which is unbelievably expensive. No thanks. It just makes more sense to stay here another year, finish school, and save up for moving. There's a strong possibility I won't be able to find a job before we move, so I'll need a cushion in my savings account. Hopefully, I can fly out for some interviews, but I'm planning for the worst case scenario. Luckily, San Francisco's unemployment rate is super-low compared to most other areas of the U.S.
I say "99% sure" because Chicago is still on the table, mostly because we both like it and Brent is a huge Cubs/Bears fan. On the other hand, I am sick to death of the Midwest climate of bitter cold and sticky humidity, and I really want to live somewhere completely new and different. Also, Brent and I have a much, much better chance of finding jobs in our degree field in the San Francisco Bay area. Chicago's unemployment rate is higher than I'm comfortable with. So, as far as I'm concerned, we're moving to San Francisco, and I haven't heard any arguments against it so far (other than "earthquakes", but then I counter with "tornadoes"). Still, Chicago's on there because Brent likes to have options.
I'm pretty sure he'll pick San Francisco, especially after our trip there in June. I've never been there before, so I'm really excited to see the area. Plus, his best friend lives there, and he really misses him, so that's another push for San Francisco.
Regardless, we're moving somewhere next summer. Brent and I are completely fed up with our jobs, and we hate Kalamazoo. I didn't even want to move here in the first place; I ended up here thanks to an ex whining and pleading for me to move, only to break up with me the second I quit my job and started packing. I've been stuck here for five, horrible years, eager for the day I can finally leave and never, ever, EVER come back. Brent likes to point out that, were it not for that ex, we wouldn't have met, and we wouldn't be where we are financially, but I still snarl internally because I refuse to give that cheating alcoholic any credit for my present condition and happiness.
I am unbelievably excited to get a fresh start, with the man I love, in a city I love, at a job I (hopefully) like/love. I'll feel much better about myself with a degree on my resume, not to mention I'll be approximately 100 pounds lighter when we move, making me less nervous about job interviews.
As for the trip in June, I'll talk about that in another post. This one is long enough already. ;)